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House, Senate Republicans elect legislative leadership

By TODD STACY, Alabama Daily News

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – After a general election that saw Alabama Republicans dominate up and down the ballot, GOP caucuses in the House and Senate met Thursday to select their leadership for the next legislative term.

The races were competitive in the House GOP Caucus, as the retirement of House Speaker Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, brought on open leadership positions.

Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, was chosen by the caucus to be the next Speaker of the House. He defeated Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, a longtime lawmaker who chairs the General Fund budget committee.

Ledbetter, who has been serving as Majority Leader since 2017, said he was committed to being a fair, effective Speaker.

“The members of the House Republican Caucus are a talented group of men and women who support the conservative principles and traditional values that most Alabamians share, and I am honored beyond measure to be chosen as their nominee for Speaker of the House,” Ledbetter said in a news release following the vote.  “If elected Speaker, I will work hard to preside fairly and ensure that all voices have an opportunity to be heard in the committee rooms and chamber of the Alabama House.”

Replacing Ledbetter as Majority Leader will be Rep. Scott Stadthagen, R-Hartselle, who won out over Rep. Joe Lovvorn, R-Auburn, to lead the House GOP Caucus and spearhead political efforts.

Rep. Chris Pringle, R-Mobile, earned the Republican nomination for Speaker Pro Tem, the second-highest position within the body and one that is tasked with presiding over the House when the Speaker is unavailable. Pringle prevailed over four contenders, including Reps. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, Jim Hill, R-Moody, Phillip Pettus, R-Green Hill, and Craig Lipscomb, R-Gadsden.

Also elected were Rep. Wes Kitchens, R-Arab, as Caucus Vice Chair and State Rep. Debbie Wood, R -Valley, as Caucus Secretary / Treasurer.

The Senate will see no change in leadership, as senators voted unanimously to reelect Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, as President Pro Tem and Sen. Clay Scofield, R-Guntersville, as Majority Leader, according to a Senate aide.

“It has been a distinct privilege serving my colleagues in the Alabama Senate as President Pro Tem for the past two years,” Reed said in a statement. “I am honored by the confidence placed in me by Senate Republicans to continue serving in this capacity. It is also important to me to earn the support of my Democratic colleagues at the organizational session in January.”
Both the House and Senate Republican caucuses hold supermajorities in their respective chambers. The official floor votes for Speaker and President Pro Tem will occur after the new year when the chambers, including their newly elected members, meet for that short organizational session.
“As I pledged when first elected to this post, my goal is to continue leading the body in a collaborative and efficient manner – making sure all voices are heard to produce the best outcomes for the people of Alabama,” Reed said.




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